Sutton Valence travelled three short for this away fixture near Heathrow. Hoped for assistance from local Kent Vets’ Clubs was not forthcoming, but Ashford kindly provided two players to Valence to even up the teams at 10 a side.
Ashford very soon showed that they were a well organised team with a series of penetrating attacks. After only 10 minutes, they went 1-0 up when Valence keeper Dave Britton was left high and dry by his defence, allowing the home team a tap in. With Ashford fielding a few young players, the Valence defence found their forward line quite a handful, but some desperate defending kept them out. At the other end, Valence were having trouble putting together any effective attacks and only one real chance was created. Just before half time, Ashford slipped the ball round the Valence defence to make the score 2-0. The score could have been worse without some great saves by keeper Britton.
The second half followed the same pattern. Valence were under constant pressure from a faster and better organised side and were never able to get their game together. Passes failed to reach their target and often gifted the opposition with possession. They spent little time in the Ashford half, although one good attacking move found Paul Linaker in the dee, but his shot went just wide, spoiling his 82nd birthday eve celebration. The team continued to present a battling defence, with some excellent cutting out by Hamish Dow in particular, resisting many opposition attacks, but inevitably Ashford found the net twice more to make the final score 4-0 to the home team. It was not Valence’s day.
MOM: Dave Britton
Goal scorers: None
Team: Dave Britton, Hamish Dow, Bob Sagrott, Rupert Humphrey, Julian Mills, Paul Linaker, Stuart Bates, Charles Worsfold, plus two players, Jack and Paul, provided by Ashford.
Umpire: Nick Willson
Match Report by Nick Willson.
The Vets have a week off next week, before returning to the fray with a home game against Chertsey Thames Valley on the 2nd March.